‘Layers of Parchment, Layers of Time: Reconstructing Manuscripts 800 – 1600’ will be taking place on:

Friday 23rd June from 9.00 – 19.00 (7pm) at Pembroke College, Cambridge (see Google maps link): https://goo.gl/maps/ZEr9NEjWAYF2

Pre-registration is required. Register with the link above, which will remain open until Monday 19th June.

Welcome begins at 8.30 in the Nihon Room in Foundress Court:


For inquires, please ask in the Porters’ Lodge by the entrance gate on Trumpington Street.

Please see the finalized timetable for the day: Layers of Parchment, Layers of Time Symposium Schedule



The Keynote Speaker

Dr. David Rundle (University of Essex/University of Oxford), is an historian and palaeographer, with interests ranging across medieval libraries, the manuscript evidence for the circulation of Renaissance ideas and the early modern destruction of manuscripts. He is the co-author, with Ralph Hanna, of the forthcoming¬† Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts, to c. 1600, of Christ Church, Oxford. He also has a forthcoming monograph with Cambridge University Press on the Renaissance Reform of the Book and Britain. He has a long-standing interest in manuscript fragments, and has complied the addenda for the 2004 reprint of Neil Ker’s classic: Pastedowns in Oxford Bindings.

More recently, he initiated the Lost Manuscripts project, which has the ambitious aim of becoming a union catalogue for manuscript fragments in the British Isles. This project was launched under the auspices of the Centre for Bibliographical History at the University of Essex, of which he is co-director.



The Organizers

Kathryn Rudy (Kate) is a senior lecturer at the University of St Andrews. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Art History and also holds a Licentiate in Mediaeval Studies from the University of Toronto. Before going to St. Andrews, she was Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the National Library of The Netherlands (The Hague). Her research focuses on the reception and original function of manuscripts, especially those manufactured in the Low Countries. She has pioneered the use of the densitometer to measure the grime that original readers deposited in their books. On this topic she gave a TED talk.

Her publications include: Rubrics, Images and Indulgences in Late Medieval Netherlandish Manuscripts (Leiden: Brill, 2017); Piety in Pieces: How medieval readers customized their manuscripts (Open Book Publishers, 2016). Postcards on Parchment: The Social Lives of Medieval Books (Yale University Press, 2015); and Virtual Pilgrimages in the Convent: Imagining Jerusalem in the Late Middle Ages (Brepols, 2011). Many of her articles are available online.

Among her current projects, she is writing a book about prints that have been cut out of Netherlandish manuscripts. She has spent over a decade reassembling such manuscripts, which were largely cut apart in the nineteenth century.

Stephanie Azzarello is a third-year PhD candidate in the faculty of History of Art at the University of Cambridge. She is being co-supervised by Dr. Donal Cooper (University Lecturer, History of Art) and Dr. Stella Panayotova (Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books, The Fitzwilliam Museum). She received her Masters from the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, and her BA from the University of Toronto (Art History/Anthropology/German Literature).

Her dissertation focuses on a now-dismembered series of choir books made for the Camaldolese monasteries of San Michele and San Mattia a Murano, near Venice by the so-called Master of the Murano Gradual  in the early decades of the fifteenth century. As very little primary documentation or key works survive from this period, these manuscripts serve as crucial extant evidence for the dynamic artistic environment that existed in Venice during the early Quattrocento.

Her thesis will reconstruct these volumes by tracing and cataloguing all know cuttings (in both public and private collections) and will probe the relationship between the manuscripts’ illuminations and other visual sources such as frecsos, panel paintings, and altarpieces, as well as, manuscripts. She is also investigating the relationship between the Master of the Murano Gradual and other key illuminators active in Venice and abroad during this period, such as Cristoforo Cortese, Belbell da Pavia, and Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci.

Register for the symposium

Registration for Layers of Parchment, Layers of Time: Reconstructing Manuscripts 800 – 1600 is now closed. Thank you to all those who have registered.